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The Non-Drinkers' Vegas Guide

If you're like me and don't drink, Vegas can still be a fun place. My trip to Vegas was for a live review course by Fitzgerald for my nurse practitioner board exam. The course started this past Wednesday, and it was a 2 1/2 day course that went from 8-5pm (yes, the class really did start at 8am sharp and ended at 5pm on the dot). I have been studying for my board exam for about 2 weeks prior to this class, so I decided to add a bit of fun to my study schedule. I'm in Vegas, after all.

I didn't have much time and didn't want to spend too much money exploring outside of the city, so I spent the little time I did have exploring the strip and enjoying the free/discounted activities. Here's my list of the top 6 things to do when you're in Vegas with 1) limited time, 2) limited money, and 3) no interest in drinking.

1. Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden

  • Cost: Free
  • Schedule: See website for their schedule. They are closed during certain holidays.
  • My Takes: The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden was absolutely lovely and perfect for people who appreciate flowers, floral arrangements, and artsy things. It was definitely a mix of all three for me, and the theme "La Dolce Vita" was fitting since I had just finished school and am off to a sweeter life (hopefully!). A lot of the decor for this particular theme seemed very romantic to me. It reminded me of when I was in high school and read Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet or Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. There are definitely peak times to this place. My friends and I lucked out when we went because there weren't as many people around at the time (hence, the nice pictures). As we made our way around, more people/crowds trickled in. The place itself appears big, but it really isn't. You can expect to spend 30 minutes (or less) if you're doing a quick walk through, or up to maybe 1 1/2 hours if you're standing there looking at/appreciating each part of the display and/or taking pictures.

2. Wynn Waterfall Show

  • Cost: Free
  • Schedule: Shows run nightly, every half hour beginning at 8:00 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.
  • My Takes: My friends and I got to see the waterfall (plain and simple, no show), and that was about it. It was triple digits outside and we had other plans. There is a seating area for the waterfall show. If you're dining and have reservations, you'll be able to sit out on the patio area of the bottom floor (which will give you the best view of the show). Or, if you're just passing through like me and my friends, you might be able to snag a spot on the upper level (no need for reservations or anything). The seating at the upper level is pretty sparse, so it's all about timing...and if you're willing to stand to watch.

3. The High Roller at Linq

  • Cost: See website. There are some additional discounts if you are staying at the Linq and if you are a student (you'll need to show your ID).
  • Schedule: See website for hours.
  • My Takes: This is definitely something to do while you're in Vegas, although there's a cost to it. I went with my friends at night and got some wonderful pictures of the Vegas lights. On one side of the pod, you can get a view of the strip. On the other side of the pod, you get a view of Vegas (without all the neon signs and hotels).

4.Bellagio Water Show

  • Cost: Free
  • Schedule: See website for timing of the shows. It varies depending on weekend or weekdays.
  • My Takes: I had the opportunity to watch the water show twice. Once at night from afar while I was on the High Roller and another time during the day while I was eating lunch across the street at Mon Ami Gabi. If you have time, it's nice seeing the water show in the day and the night. At night, the water area is lighted, so it adds a different kind of feel to the show. If your time is limited, I would recommend watching the show at night, since there isn't much shade during the day (especially during the summer).

5. Explore the exterior and interior design of each hotel of the strip

  • Cost: Free
  • Schedule: Anytime
  • My Takes: If you're like me and love taking pictures, just wandering the strip can be an adventure in and of itself. Each hotel has a unique theme (ie. the castle look of Excalibur, the pyramids of the Luxor, the flamingo area of The Flamingo, and more) that you can explore outside or inside. And, of course, each hotel has different activities you can do like the gondola rides at the Venetian (but keep in mind that some of those activities have a cost!).

6. Buffet

  • Cost: Varies (depends on which buffet place)
  • Schedule: Varies (hours will vary depending on buffet place)
  • My Takes: My friends and I personally tried the buffet at the Wynn at at Paris. My friends also tried the Bacchanal Buffet, which they said was the best. For me, between the buffet at the Wynn and at Paris, I would say the one at the Wynn was better. There was a lot more variety and the food was moving faster (so new food was always getting put in). One place I'll need to try for myself the next time I'm in Vegas is the Bacchanal Buffet. Until then, Wynn was a win! I left with a happy tummy and a satisfied sweet tooth! The bright and airy decor of the Wynn buffet made it feel like you're at an afternoon tea party or on the set of Alice in Wonderland.

Despite Vegas having a rep as being the place to party and drink, there are also many other things to do and to explore. As one of the Uber drivers mentioned, "there's a place for everyone at Vegas."

Nicole G.

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